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Diego Downtown Takes DC Magazine to The Yards

By Zarah Burstein


Wondering what to do at The Yards? We spent a day with Diego Gonzalez-Zuniga of Diego Downtown, who shared his ultimate list of what to do on a Saturday at The Yards.
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Gonzalez-Zuniga is an accomplished retail professional and marketer who has lived in Washington, DC for eight years. His blog, Diego Downtown is dedicated to fashion and lifestyle, showcasing local alongside national labels. He is also a social and digital content consultant for brands, organizations and projects.

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We started off our afternoon by heading to Whaley’s for brunch. Whaley’s menu features shellfish towers, crudos, and a selection of seafood-focused plates. We had the Fluke Crudo and the Seafood Risotto.

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The drinks at Whaley’s are amazing! We had the #1 (Sparkling Rose, St. Germaine, Brugal Extra Dry Rum & Grapefruit), the #20 (El Silencio Mezcal, Campari, Pineapple & Lime), and of course did the “build your own rum old fashioned.”

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Gonzalez-Zuniga’s style is modern and hip compared to the suited and preppy Washingtonian, dressed in a white t-shirt and cuffed jeans from Express Men with sneakers, he collaborated with DC Magazine in taking the perfect shot.

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Whaley's Rosé Garden
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Whaley’s Rosé Garden is an outdoor bar with river views. The Rose Garden features ten different roses, frozen drinks and coconuts. The space is wrapped in tropical plants, with deco white metal tables and pink striped umbrellas. “I’ve always had a strong interest in fashion, I found myself working in retail operations and marketing for major brands such as Madewell, J.Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch,” mentions Gonzalez-Zuniga as he sips on his coconut rum at Whaley’s Rose Garden. “I really think that the people and culture you surround yourself with help influence and shape the person you are or hope to become, I like to work on projects that I am passionate about.”

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Blue Jacket Brewery
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After Whaley’s we visited Blue Jacket Brewery, a bar and restaurant housed in a 3-story building that was built in 1919 and previously housed a boilermaking factory. Founded in 2013 by Beer Director/Partner Greg Engert and Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Blue Jacket brews craft beers across a broad range of styles and flavors from IPA’s, lagers and pilsners to Belgian-style and barrel-aged beers. Little did we know that Blue Jacket Brewery has a Bottle Shop and releases a fresh batch of cans every Friday.

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For dinner that evening, we made our way to Chef Haidar Karoum’s first solo restaurant, Chloe. The restaurant menu features flavors of Karoum’s Mid-Atlantic upbringing and youthful explorations of the Mediterranean region, woven with the Spanish, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern styles that have been highlights of his culinary career.

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Ice Cream Jubilee
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After dinner, we walked over to Ice Cream Jubilee for dessert and met with the owner, Veronica Lai. Ice Cream Jubilee was named “Best Ice Cream in DC” four years in a row, each flavor is made in small batches with local cream from grass-fed cows from South Mountain Creamery.

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Lai, former lawyer turned ice cream maker, scooped the newest fall flavors for us to try, Strawberry Tres Leches and Sweet Potato Pie.

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District Winery
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To end off our day at The Yards, we went to District Winery for wine pairings. The boutique urban winery was bustling after the National’s baseball game. We tried three of the new fall wines with food pairings, the Viognier with the peach toast, Albarino with the salmon burger and Old Vine Zinfandel with the cheese plate. Cheers! DC Magazine enjoyed spending a day with Diego Gonzalez-Zuniga of Diego Downtown, now we can truly understand his stylish love affair with Washington, DC and particularly The Yards.